Fried Polenta Squares with Creamy Mushroom Ragu
- Prep Time: 2 1/2 hours
- Cook Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
- Servings: 4 - 6
- Course: Appetizers & Snacks
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup polenta
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound mixed wild mushrooms (like shiitake, oyster, chanterelle, hen of the woods), cleaned and sliced
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Squeeze of lemon juice to taste
- 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Whisk in the polenta. Once it begins to thicken, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes until creamy and thick, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Stir in the Parmesan and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir until melted and cheese is no longer visible. Remove from heat.
Line an 8x11 inch baking dish with Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil and carefully pour the polenta into the baking dish, using a spatula to smooth it to an even thickness, about 3/4 inch. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to two days until firm.
While the polenta chills, make your ragu. In a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until simmering. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir often to prevent browning. Add mushrooms and thyme and cook over medium-high heat until the mushrooms start to release their liquid. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and continue to cook another 5 minutes until they begin to soften more.
Add flour, stirring, until it is no longer visible, about 1 minute. Add in the wine, cream and sugar, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Taste and adjust salt if desired. Simmer until thick and creamy and the mushrooms are nicely coated, about 15 minutes. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and 1/2 cup minced parsley. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
Slice your polenta into squares — whatever size you desire. Wipe down your skillet, coat it with nonstick cooking spray, and heat it over medium-high. Fry the squares in the pan until golden brown and warmed through. To serve, top the squares with warm mushroom ragu.